Carpet Tiles, What You NEED to Know!!

Carpet tiles have been and still are considered to be the height of fashion and practicality in the corporate office environment.  Here are just a few of the advantages of choosing carpet tiles for your office space.

Creativity:  Carpet tiles are the first and foremost when wanting to truly design a space.  With their small size and ability to be cut to precise shapes, carpet tiles let you create an environment that is right for your business.

Versatility:  Because of their size and layout, carpet tiles can be laid to fit rooms that are less than conventional.  Because carpet tiles can be cut easily, the process is easier, faster and produces a finished final product.

Durability:  Carpet tiles are VERY durable.  There is a reason carpet tiles have been around since the 50’s!

Warranties:  Carpet tiles can come with the best warranties for the life of your carpet.  Engineered wood and Laminate can come with a warranty, but most times are a shorter length with stipulations.

What is Activation?

In the construction and design world, everyone knows the main phases of a typical project: Pre-Design, Design, Procurement, Construction, Post-Construction.

So, what is Activation and where does it fit?  

Activation – or to activate, a verb — means to set in motion; make active or more active.  

In construction management, Activation is the phase of a project that prepares a building/space for occupancy.

Activities could include:

  • Mechanical and electrical commissioning
  • Furniture installation
  • IT network configuration
  • Phone installation
  • Actual move of occupants into the space

On face value one could say, “Oh, that’s just another name for Post-Construction.”  

However, Activation, specifically for technical projects like bio-medical research laboratories and hospitals, is a phase that spans the whole project schedule.

The goal of any project is to create a space where the occupants can perform their activities effectively — from a scientist reviewing newly formed stem cells to a doctor operating on a sick patient.  

These high-tech buildings need to function.

At the end of the day, what is the point of turning over a new facility to talented researchers and medical personnel if the building can’t serve them?

A common problem that I’ve experienced over the years is that by the time the construction project is completed — sometimes taking multiple years — the technology & equipment used by the occupants is outdated and obsolete.

Furthermore, scientific personnel and/or research projects have changed.  

Utility requirements, whether electrical, mechanical heat loads, or lab/medical gasses have been modified and the whole space needs to be renovated before the occupant can move in.

Yes, brand new facilities must be renovated to meet the needs of the users before they can move-in.

How is this an effective use of resources, time and money?

Therefore, I believe that Activation needs to be in the forefront of everyone’s mind throughout the whole project lifecycle.  Continual check-ins with the users, surveys of equipment, discussions with IT and equipment manufacturers need to occur.

Coordination between the design/construction and activation teams need to occur early in the design process, rather than after construction is complete.

By focusing on Activation early, the project has better success of staying on schedule too.  The more time you have to adjust to new information the more time you have to incorporate it into your project plan.  The last thing a project needs at turnover is finding out that a user piece of equipment requires a specific kind of power outlet, requiring change orders and additional work.

And this model can be used for other building industry groups like retail tenant fit-out, hotels and high-rise residential.  Maintaining high levels of quality on day one for users and guests is paramount for brand justification.

Again, our goal as service providers in the construction industry is to deliver a space that can be used by the occupants on the day that they arrive in the space.

Working together with that goal and foresight in mind by starting Activation early is a great way to make that goal a reality.

What areas of Project Turnover do you struggle with?  Please leave a comment and we will respond!

SPACE Inc. named 101 Best and Brightest Companies to work for in the nation

SPACE, Inc. has been named by The National Association for Business Resources as one of The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the nation.

The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For competition identifies and honors organizations that display a commitment to excellence in operations and employee enrichment that lead to increased productivity and financial performance. This competition scores potential winners based on regional data of company performance and a set standard across the nation.  This national program celebrates those companies that are making better business, creating richer lives and building a stronger community as a whole.  The Best and Brightest Program honored 437 national winning organizations from across the country out of 2000 nominations. In addition to honoring all national winners, this year a new subcategory was introduced, The Top 101 National Winning Companies.

SPACE Inc. was recognized as one of the highest 101 scoring companies that demonstrated exceptional innovative human resource practices and set high standards for all businesses. The elite categories include: Compensation, Benefits and Employee Development; Recruitment, Selection and Orientation; Employee Achievement and Recognition; Communication and Shared Vision; Diversity and Inclusion; Work-Life Balance; Community Initiatives; Strategic Company Performance and the Best of the Best Businesses.

SPACE is a commercial interior design firm and office furniture dealership that transforms workplaces into beautiful and productive work environments across Michigan and across the nation, the company stated. Founded in Midland in 1995, SPACE has always put employees’ needs at the forefront of their policies, according to the company. It said with a strong focus on innovation, continuous improvement and community engagement, SPACE positively impacts the lives of the SPACE family and the overall community.

“We are thrilled to be recognized as a 101 Best and Brightest Company to Work For in the Nation” said Kathie Fuce-Hobohm, president and CEO. “We have always been highly committed to our clients, our team and the Midland community. It is the way we do business and the right thing to do. Winning national recognition for these core values is an unexpected honor.”

SPACE Inc Recognized for Excellence in the Great Game of Business


Kathie Fuce-Hobohm, Dealer Principal, SPACE Inc.


Rapid Financial Results; Lasting Cultural Change

Fuce-Hobohm admits that when she and a business partner founded SPACE Inc. 23 years ago, they were what you might call “accidental” entrepreneurs. At the time, Fuce-Hobohm worked for a larger company that decided that it was going to close down their location. So Fuce-Hobohm and her partner decided to open their own business instead. The rub was that while Fuce-Hobohm knew how to create great office interiors, she didn’t have a strong financial acumen. “We would either accidentally make or lose money,” she says. “I didn’t understand the business of running the business when we got started.” A breakthrough occurred in 2013, when a team from SPACE Inc. learned about the Great Game of Business on a visit to Zingerman’s in nearby Ann Arbor, MI. Inspired by what they saw, Fuce-Hobohm and her VP of Finance and Administration, Colette St. Louis, put together a comprehensive financial literacy training program for SPACE Inc.’s associates that they call “Easy Beans.” The goal of the program was to make learning the financials fun and approachable to associates who would likely rather be designing and developing funky interiors. “It used to be you could see everyone’s eyes roll and hear some snores whenever I presented any financial information,” says St. Louis. “Some people would ask questions, but the rest figured it didn’t affect them. Now, by teaching the financials, we have the ability to share what we know with the team so they can help us achieve the goals we set together, rather than pushing them to achieve the goals we set for them.” One result, gross profit is up some 3% – which is just about unheard of their industry. The financial literacy training has also helped create that line of sight for associates as well: In a recent company survey, 100% of employees reported that they understood how they as individuals could impact the company’s bottom line. “Everybody in our company knows how he or she makes a difference,” says Fuce-Hobohm.


Playing The Game Together

Once the SPACE Inc. team began to understand the financials, it unlocked cross-departmental teamwork that has helped inspire new levels of problem-solving and innovative thinking across the organization. “One thing the Great Game of Business does really well is that it helps articulate difficult concepts in a way people can understand,” says Fuce-Hobohm. Another impact from playing the game and tapping the Wisdom of the Crowd through High Involvement Planning and forecasting is that it’s changing the attitude and mindset of associates. “Thanks to the Great Game of Business, the team is actively working on removing phrases such as ‘I don’t know’ or ‘It won’t work’ or ‘That’s not my job’ from their daily vocabulary,” says Jenni Bush, vice president, “and replacing those phrases with ‘It can’t be done this way, but what if we did this instead?’ They’re not stopping at ‘can’t – they’re figuring out ‘how.’”

What’s Next?

One of the priorities Fuce-Hobohm wants to focus on in the coming years is to continue to help her employees connect the financial literacy lessons they are learning at work with their personal lives. Another priority area is to continue to train and grow the company’s next generation of leaders, whom they call “Gen 2,” to help the company identify future growth opportunities. “The Great Game of Business helps you build that platform that allows you to create your succession plan,” says Fuce-Hobohm.